Art for Rights is in town | Sunday Observer

Art for Rights is in town

Art is of various forms, art is politics, art is aesthetics, art is beauty. Art fir Rights: South Asia Human Rights Festival will be held from 5-9 December 2018 at the Tharangani Hall of National Film Corporation.

This festival has several facets; award winning short and feature films from the region, art installations from artists across the region that speak of Human Rights.

Through this festival, organised by Amnesty International South Asia Regional Office, the Sri Lanka audience can identify common dots that connect the region through movies and other forms of art as well as historical and cultural narratives. The purpose is to identify similarities and differences in the region, and accept the similarities and reconcile with the differences throughout this journey.

Some of the South Asian artists who will be performing are:

Performance from the Tharu Community: Urmila Chaudhary is from the second largest indigenous group in Nepal called the Tharu Community, and has been an influential figure in the fight against Kalamari system of child slavery, trying to protect rights of girls, especially their right to education. They have unique dancing and drama performances that address their rights, and protest against injustices. [Their performances will be held on Friday December 7 – 7.30-8.30pm (dance) and Sunday December 9 – 3.00 – 4.00pm (drama)]

‘Witness’ – Photography Exhibition by Shahidul Alam and Dhahau Naseem:Shahidul Alam is an award-winning Bangladeshi photojournalist who was imprisoned recently. Forcibly picked up on 5 August 2018, Alam spent 102 days in jail for a television interview and was released on bail recently.DhahauNaseem is an outspoken Maldivan activist, who has captured variousprotests on violations of civil and political rights in the Maldives. [Friday December 7 – 3.00 – 5.00pm, Saturday December 8 – 10.00am – 5.00pm, Sunday December 9 – 10.00am – 5.00pm]

Emotions without Affiliation – Graffiti/Mural production by ArtLords: Graffiti and mural art is not commonly seen in Sri Lanka, even though there is a strong foundation on paintings and other forms of visual arts. The ArtLords from Afghanistan converts the negative psychological impact of blast walls on the people of Kabul into a positive visual experience through murals, graffiti and paintings, focusing on developing public art projects that pave the way for social transformation and behavioral change. They will be performing at the Art for Rights festival along with Sri Lankan artistes, and youth groups. [Saturday December 8 – 10.00am – 5.00pm, Sunday December 9 – 10.00am – 5.00pm]

Politically Incorrect - musical by Ali Aftab and band: Music, the universal language, will play the conclusion of the festival which will happen on the eve of 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Aftab is from Pakistan and is the founder of his band Beygairat Brigade in 2011. [Sunday December 9 – 7.30 – 8.30pm]

The local artistes who will be performing hand in hand with these artistes are: Gayathri Khemadasa [When caged birds sing, and Unheard], Venuri Perera [Kesel Maduwa], Priyankara Rathnayake [Ada wage dawasaka Antigone], Kumari Kumaragamage [Woman in Red, and Do we care], Roy Rodrigo [street theatre and painting], Mohamed Safeer [An installation on rights], Ranjan Fernando [puppetry]. Dr. Dr. Jeyasankar Sivagnanam and team from Eastern University. Dr. Rathitharan Kathiresu and team from Jaffna university will be performing as well, along with a folk dance performance titled ‘Light in the Mountains’ by Dickoya Fine Arts College.

From 5 – 9 December, a short film and a feature film from South Asia will be screened from 5-7.30pm.